Yesterday, the Federal Government released its 2021 fiscal year budget. I took the time to go through it and happy to share the following highlights regarding the funding for businesses.
Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy and Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy will be extended to September 25, 2021. Only employers with a decline in revenues of more than 10% would be eligible for the wage subsidy as of June 6, 2021.
At the same time, the new Canada Recovery Hiring Program for eligible employers that continue to experience declines in revenues relative to before the pandemic will supplement and later replace the emergency wage subsidy. This support will be available from June 6 to November 20, 2021.
The application deadline for similar support under the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund is extended until June 30, 2021.
Multiple hiring grants are introduced or replenished to help businesses hire youth workforce, including:
- Student Work Placement Program
- Youth Employment and Skills Strategy
- Sectoral Workforce Solutions Program
A new Canada Digital Adoption Program will be introduced to support small manufacturers and food processors in implementing digital technologies. The support will provide grants for technology selection and planning and no-interest loans for technology acquisition and implementation. The loans will be provided by BDC.
Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) gets additional funds. This program is known for long delays, and hopefully, the boost will provide opportunities for more businesses to apply.
The maximum amount of government-guaranteed loans through the Canadian Small Business Financing Program will be increased to $500K.
The aerospace industry will get a boost through the Aerospace Regional Recovery Initiative, which would support small and medium-sized firms in improving productivity, strengthening commercialization, and greening their operations and products. The government will provide the details within the next few months.
Business Scale-Up & Productivity, Strategic Innovation Fund and Supercluster Funding will be continued through this fiscal year.
CanExport program that supports Canadian businesses marketing outside the country will also be continued.
More funding and tax incentives will be provided for clean technology and climate change technologies adoption. However, it appears that Climate Action Incentive Fund for businesses will not be renewed. The farmers will get more climate change-related incentives.
We have not seen any specific funding programs for manufacturers to improve productivity, purchase new equipment or introduce hardware, software or industry 4.0 solutions, so we will keep monitoring the announcements from the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters.
We are also unclear about the Federal-Provincial programs such as Job Grants for skills training and the Canadian Agricultural Partnership. We will provide you with more updates as more information becomes available.